新编英语教程第二册Unit14

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Unit 14

DIALOGUE I

Reform in Education

A: I've been teaching in China for only two weeks, but I notice the dynamic pulse of your national and local life. It seems there's something new every day in China and everybody's talking about reform of one kind or another.
B: For us, reform is the only way to modernize the country, to revitalize China, a nation with a history of 5,000 years.
A: And a bright future to look forward to.
B: Yes, we do. But the bright future is more than something just to look forward to. It's something to build up on our own. In order to modernize our country, we need millions of dedicated skilled workers, as well as qualified teachers, managers, engineers, information analysts, computer programmers, medical doctors and other specialists.
A: That's really a very impressive modernization drive.
B: In the process, we have come to understand that education takes priority in our modernization programme. The government is now implementing the strategy of national development by relying on science and education.
A: But what comes first in your educational reform?
B: It seems that the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have all proposed that more funds should be raised for education. Some local governments have decided that teacher training should be the first item on the agenda of reform.
A: That's very sensible. You must first of all have qualified teachers before you can have the kind of qualified people you need.
B: Many colleges and schools not only recruit new teachers, but offer in-service teacher training programmes as well. In some schools, however, a teaching certificate is required of one who wishes to get a teaching position.
A: That's right. Prospective teachers must show their qualifications for teaching. In my country, people who wish to be teachers must get a teaching certificate before their application is considered.
B: We'll do that too.
A: By the way, do your students have their say on the reform of the educational system?
B: Oh, yes. For instance, most students at this university have expressed their resentment to the traditional spoon-feeding method of teaching. The university leadership backs up their call for a reform of teaching methodology.
A: Theoretically, no teacher is in favour of spoon-feeding students, but in practice it seems difficult to give it up altogether.
B: True, and that's exactly why we must bring about reforms. We must give full play to the role of students in learning and create a more student-centred classroom for teaching.
A: I also feel that you ought to give your students more time at their own disposal, and allow them to work at their own pace. My students seem to be very much tied down to their full timetable.
B: That's another thing we have become aware of. As a matter of fact, the majority of our college students demand that the curricular programmes, teaching methods, academic rules and regulations should all be reformed. They hope to change the way they are being taught now. In particular, they don't want to study simply for examinations, but to become creative, critical thinkers and useful workers.
A: Then, it's only natural that they're actively involved in this reform.

DIALOGUE II

Dialogue:

Two students have just been to a fancy-dress party and are talking about what they thought of it.
A: That was the best party I've been to for a long time. I really enjoyed myself.
B: You really enjoyed yourself? But you hardly said a word all evening, and you didn't dance even once!
A: Just because I didn't dance doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself. The music was good, and the food was excellent, and above all, there were a lot of interesting people there.
B: I suppose you mean that new professor of physics from our department! Why did you always have to stick in a corner like a hermit and talk all night about boring academic matters. Our hostess thought that you were particularly rude not socializing with anyone else.
A: Not socializing with anyone? I was talking to the professor, and very interesting it was, too.
B: If it was such an interesting party, why did we have to leave so early? It was only nine o'clock.
A: Wasn't it eleven when we left? Yes, it was. I don't think you're right there.
B: It was nine because I was talking to our hostess, and she asked me the time just before you came over.
A: Well, I was rather tired so I suggested to the professor that it was rather late and...
B: Oh, come on! I don't believe that! You left because the professor left. He suggested that it was late and time to go, didn't he? Not you! You wouldn't have left if he had wanted to stay. He apologized for not wanting to stay longer, isn't that true?

READING I

Girls and Boys Come Out to Play

The football sailed over the fence at least half a dozen times every lunch hour, not due to any lack of skill: a "lost" ball provided a passport into the girls' school next door. Games of tennis, tag, handball and football were all crammed into the corner of the schoolyard beside our own Maginot line.
On the other side, girls sunbathed and were regularly told to pull their socks up and not hitch up their skirts. "This is not Brighton beach, you know." Apart from the daily melee in the bus queue, this was our only contact with the opposite sex at school.
The excuses grew more sophisticated. Divinity club, drama, mixed hockey matches for charity and other worthy causes were all surprisingly well supported. Even so, we all resented this unnatural division. If school was preparing us for life, why was it so unlike the real world? It is ironic that I now find myself defending single sex education and that I now believe that its very artificiality is its main strength.
Ideally education should provide everyone with the opportunity to develop their talents to the full. But in reality this is more difficult than it seems. Boys are often more pushy than girls and demand more than their fair share of the teacher's attention. If this is not forthcoming, they are likely to be disruptive.
To keep the peace, teachers, often unintentionally, devote more of their time to the boys. The result is that in a mixed class girls can expect no more than a third of the teacher's time. This becomes a habit and boys get used to being assertive and in control while girls learn to give way and to play a subordinate role. Having to contend with the complications of adolescence at the same time exacerbates the problem. Surely this is not a desirable preparation for life?
If girls and boys are kept separate, domination by one sex is not possible. In my experience, stronger boys often pushed out the weaker, dismissing them as "cissies." Perhaps we needed to dominate someone and these were our substitute girls. But at least we didn't get used to "shouting down" the girls or assuming that they would always give way.
In a girls' school, pupils get the full attention of the teacher. They are free to develop the self-assurance which later on may help them to resist discrimination. Because they are used to having influence in the classroom, they expect to have influence in the world. If reality turns out differently, then at least they can tackle it without being hampered by the difficulties of adolescence as well.
At school I always favoured the arts more than the sciences and happily progressed to specialization in English. Would I have done so in a mixed school? Perhaps not. The fact is that in coeducational schools, girls dominate the arts while boys dominate the sciences. This is because in the early teenage years girls excel in language-based subjects and, rather than be beaten, boys concentrate on the sciences. Single sex schools are free from such stereotyping.
I don't think that girls and boys should be separated because they distract one another. I can't believe that flirtation or boyish bravado poses a serious threat to classroom order. There are stronger social and educational reasons than that. Perhaps a good compromise would be to have mixed schools but to teach boys and girls separately for at least part of the time. This at least would get rid of the Maginot lines that are as much a part of my school memories as semolina and chalk dust.

READING II

Life at College

British universities
There are 46 universities in Britain. Good "A" Level results in at least two subjects are necessary to get a place at one. However, good exam passes alone are not enough. Universities choose their students after interviews, and competition for places at university is fierce.
For all British citizens a place at university brings with it a grant from their Local Education authority. The grants cover tuition fees and some of the living expenses. The amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all their expenses.

Free at last!
Most 18 and 19 year-olds in Britain are fairly independent people, and when the time comes to pick a college they usually choose one as far away from home as possible! So, many students in northern and Scottish universities come from the south of England and vice versa. It is very unusual for university students to live at home. Although parents may be a little sad to see this happen, they usually approve of the move, and see it as a necessary part of becoming an adult.
Anyway, the three university terms are only ten weeks each, and during vacation times families are reunited.

Freshers
When they first arrive at college, first-year university students are called "freshers". A fresher's life can be exciting but terrifying for the first week.
Often freshers will live in a Hall of Residence on or near the college campus, although they may move out into a rented room in their second or third year, or share a house with friends. Many freshers will feel very homesick for the first week or so, but living in hall soon helps them to make new friends.
During the first week, all the clubs and societies hold a "freshers' fair" during which they try to persuade the new students to join their society. The freshers are told that it is important for them to come into contact with many opinions and activities during their time at university, but the choice can be a bit overwhelming!
On the day that lectures start, groups of freshers are often seen walking around huge campuses, maps in hand and a worried look on their faces. They are learning how difficult it is to change from a school community to one of many thousands. They also learn a new way of studying. As well as lectures, there are regular seminars, at which one of a small group of students (probably not more than ten) reads a paper he or she has written. The paper is then discussed by the tutor and the rest of the group. Once or twice a term, students will have a tutorial. This means that they see a tutor alone to discuss their work and their progress. In Oxford and Cambridge, and some other universities, the study system is based entirely around such tutorials which take place once a week. Attending lectures is optional for "Oxbridge" students!
After three or four years (depending on the type of course and the university) these students will take their finals. Most of them (over 90 per cent) will get a first, second or third class degree and be able to put B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) after their name. It will have been well earned!
Unit 14 DIALOGUE I Reform in Education A: I've been teaching in China for only two weeks, but I notice the dynamic pulse of your national and local life. It seems there's something new every day in China and everybody's talking about reform of one kind or another. B: For us, reform is the only way to modernize the country, to revitalize China, a nation with a history of 5,000 years. A: And a bright future to look forward to. B: Yes, we do. But the bright future is more than something just to look forward to. It's something to build up on our own. In order to modernize our country, we need millions of dedicated skilled workers, as well as qualified teachers, managers, engineers, information analysts, computer programmers, medical doctors and other specialists. A: That's really a very impressive modernization drive. B: In the process, we have come to understand that education takes priority in our modernization programme. The government is now implementing the strategy of national development by relying on science and education. A: But what comes first in your educational reform? B: It seems that the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions have all proposed that more funds should be raised for education. Some local governments have decided that teacher training should be the first item on the agenda of reform. A: That's very sensible. You must first of all have qualified teachers before you can have the kind of qualified people you need. B: Many colleges and schools not only recruit new teachers, but offer in-service teacher training programmes as well. In some schools, however, a teaching certificate is required of one who wishes to get a teaching position. A: That's right. Prospective teachers must show their qualifications for teaching. In my country, people who wish to be teachers must get a teaching certificate before their application is considered. B: We'll do that too. A: By the way, do your students have their say on the reform of the educational system? B: Oh, yes. For instance, most students at this university have expressed their resentment to the traditional spoon-feeding method of teaching. The university leadership backs up their call for a reform of teaching methodology. A: Theoretically, no teacher is in favour of spoon-feeding students, but in practice it seems difficult to give it up altogether. B: True, and that's exactly why we must bring about reforms. We must give full play to the role of students in learning and create a more student-centred classroom for teaching. A: I also feel that you ought to give your students more time at their own disposal, and allow them to work at their own pace. My students seem to be very much tied down to their full timetable. B: That's another thing we have become aware of. As a matter of fact, the majority of our college students demand that the curricular programmes, teaching methods, academic rules and regulations should all be reformed. They hope to change the way they are being taught now. In particular, they don't want to study simply for examinations, but to become creative, critical thinkers and useful workers. A: Then, it's only natural that they're actively involved in this reform. DIALOGUE II Dialogue: Two students have just been to a fancy-dress party and are talking about what they thought of it. A: That was the best party I've been to for a long time. I really enjoyed myself. B: You really enjoyed yourself? But you hardly said a word all evening, and you didn't dance even once! A: Just because I didn't dance doesn't mean I didn't enjoy myself. The music was good, and the food was excellent, and above all, there were a lot of interesting people there. B: I suppose you mean that new professor of physics from our department! Why did you always have to stick in a corner like a hermit and talk all night about boring academic matters. Our hostess thought that you were particularly rude not socializing with anyone else. A: Not socializing with anyone? I was talking to the professor, and very interesting it was, too. B: If it was such an interesting party, why did we have to leave so early? It was only nine o'clock. A: Wasn't it eleven when we left? Yes, it was. I don't think you're right there. B: It was nine because I was talking to our hostess, and she asked me the time just before you came over. A: Well, I was rather tired so I suggested to the professor that it was rather late and... B: Oh, come on! I don't believe that! You left because the professor left. He suggested that it was late and time to go, didn't he? Not you! You wouldn't have left if he had wanted to stay. He apologized for not wanting to stay longer, isn't that true? READING I Girls and Boys Come Out to Play The football sailed over the fence at least half a dozen times every lunch hour, not due to any lack of skill: a "lost" ball provided a passport into the girls' school next door. Games of tennis, tag, handball and football were all crammed into the corner of the schoolyard beside our own Maginot line. On the other side, girls sunbathed and were regularly told to pull their socks up and not hitch up their skirts. "This is not Brighton beach, you know." Apart from the daily melee in the bus queue, this was our only contact with the opposite sex at school. The excuses grew more sophisticated. Divinity club, drama, mixed hockey matches for charity and other worthy causes were all surprisingly well supported. Even so, we all resented this unnatural division. If school was preparing us for life, why was it so unlike the real world? It is ironic that I now find myself defending single sex education and that I now believe that its very artificiality is its main strength. Ideally education should provide everyone with the opportunity to develop their talents to the full. But in reality this is more difficult than it seems. Boys are often more pushy than girls and demand more than their fair share of the teacher's attention. If this is not forthcoming, they are likely to be disruptive. To keep the peace, teachers, often unintentionally, devote more of their time to the boys. The result is that in a mixed class girls can expect no more than a third of the teacher's time. This becomes a habit and boys get used to being assertive and in control while girls learn to give way and to play a subordinate role. Having to contend with the complications of adolescence at the same time exacerbates the problem. Surely this is not a desirable preparation for life? If girls and boys are kept separate, domination by one sex is not possible. In my experience, stronger boys often pushed out the weaker, dismissing them as "cissies." Perhaps we needed to dominate someone and these were our substitute girls. But at least we didn't get used to "shouting down" the girls or assuming that they would always give way. In a girls' school, pupils get the full attention of the teacher. They are free to develop the self-assurance which later on may help them to resist discrimination. Because they are used to having influence in the classroom, they expect to have influence in the world. If reality turns out differently, then at least they can tackle it without being hampered by the difficulties of adolescence as well. At school I always favoured the arts more than the sciences and happily progressed to specialization in English. Would I have done so in a mixed school? Perhaps not. The fact is that in coeducational schools, girls dominate the arts while boys dominate the sciences. This is because in the early teenage years girls excel in language-based subjects and, rather than be beaten, boys concentrate on the sciences. Single sex schools are free from such stereotyping. I don't think that girls and boys should be separated because they distract one another. I can't believe that flirtation or boyish bravado poses a serious threat to classroom order. There are stronger social and educational reasons than that. Perhaps a good compromise would be to have mixed schools but to teach boys and girls separately for at least part of the time. This at least would get rid of the Maginot lines that are as much a part of my school memories as semolina and chalk dust. READING II Life at College British universities There are 46 universities in Britain. Good "A" Level results in at least two subjects are necessary to get a place at one. However, good exam passes alone are not enough. Universities choose their students after interviews, and competition for places at university is fierce. For all British citizens a place at university brings with it a grant from their Local Education authority. The grants cover tuition fees and some of the living expenses. The amount depends on the parents' income. If the parents do not earn much money, their children will receive a full grant which will cover all their expenses. Free at last! Most 18 and 19 year-olds in Britain are fairly independent people, and when the time comes to pick a college they usually choose one as far away from home as possible! So, many students in northern and Scottish universities come from the south of England and vice versa. It is very unusual for university students to live at home. Although parents may be a little sad to see this happen, they usually approve of the move, and see it as a necessary part of becoming an adult. Anyway, the three university terms are only ten weeks each, and during vacation times families are reunited. Freshers When they first arrive at college, first-year university students are called "freshers". A fresher's life can be exciting but terrifying for the first week. Often freshers will live in a Hall of Residence on or near the college campus, although they may move out into a rented room in their second or third year, or share a house with friends. Many freshers will feel very homesick for the first week or so, but living in hall soon helps them to make new friends. During the first week, all the clubs and societies hold a "freshers' fair" during which they try to persuade the new students to join their society. The freshers are told that it is important for them to come into contact with many opinions and activities during their time at university, but the choice can be a bit overwhelming! On the day that lectures start, groups of freshers are often seen walking around huge campuses, maps in hand and a worried look on their faces. They are learning how difficult it is to change from a school community to one of many thousands. They also learn a new way of studying. As well as lectures, there are regular seminars, at which one of a small group of students (probably not more than ten) reads a paper he or she has written. The paper is then discussed by the tutor and the rest of the group. Once or twice a term, students will have a tutorial. This means that they see a tutor alone to discuss their work and their progress. In Oxford and Cambridge, and some other universities, the study system is based entirely around such tutorials which take place once a week. Attending lectures is optional for "Oxbridge" students! After three or four years (depending on the type of course and the university) these students will take their finals. Most of them (over 90 per cent) will get a first, second or third class degree and be able to put B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) or B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) after their name. It will have been well earned!
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